And . . . yet another Wells Fargo banking scandal

[Justice]
And . . . yet another Wells Fargo banking scandal
by Simon Black
Posted June 11, 2018

Another Wells Fargo fraudIs it Friday again? Must be time for another banking scandal!

Seriously– these banking scandals are happening with such regularity and predictability it would be almost comical. . . were it not for the millions of people who have had their lives turned upside down.

The latest transgression involves, once again, our old friends at Wells Fargo. Bear in mind that the ink isn’t even dry yet on the $1 billion check that Wells Fargo wrote last week as a penalty to settle its previous scandal, where they defrauded 570,000 clients in a car insurance scam. More…

The NICA Act: Empire Sets Its Sights on Nicaragua – Again

[Politics]
The NICA Act: Empire Sets Its Sights on Nicaragua – Again
by Daniel Kovalik
Posted June 11, 2018

the empire sets its sights on Nicaragua, againAs Noam Chomsky has opined numerous times, the US shall never forgive the Nicaraguan people for overthrowing the US-backed Somoza dictatorship in 1979, for militarily defeating the Contras and for then voting back in the Sandinistas in 2007.

It was only a matter of time before the US government and its compliant media would once again put Nicaragua in their sights. And, that time has indeed come.

Last year, the US House of Representatives voted unanimously in favor of the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act of 2017 (NICA Act) which would cut that already-poor country off from loans offered by international financial institutions. More…

Edward Snowden: ‘The people are still powerless, but now they’re aware’

[Social]
Edward Snowden: ‘The people are still powerless, but now they’re aware’
By Ewen MacAskill and Alex Hern
Posted June 11, 2018

SnowdenEdward Snowden has no regrets five years on from leaking the biggest cache of top-secret documents in history. He is wanted by the US. He is in exile in Russia. But he is satisfied with the way his revelations of mass surveillance have rocked governments, intelligence agencies and major Internet companies.

Snowden, weighing up the changes, said some privacy campaigners had expressed disappointment with how things have developed, but he did not share it. “People say nothing has changed: that there is still mass surveillance. That is not how you measure change. Look back before 2013 and look at what has happened since. Everything changed.” More…

A Dangerous Escalation in “The War on Leaks”

[Justice]
A Dangerous Escalation in “The War on Leaks”
By Andrea Peterson
Posted June 11, 2018

dangerous escalation in The New York Times reported that a former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer, James Wolfe, was arrested Thursday after a grand jury indicted him on charges of lying to the FBI about his contacts with Times reporter Ali Watkins and other journalists.

During the investigation into Wolfe and leaks from the Committee, the Justice Department went after Watkins’ data—seizing years of records related to her email accounts and phone number, according to a letter the agency sent to Watkins. The Wolfe indictment serves as an immediate warning to journalists—and sources—to carefully consider how they communicate, and to remember that they ultimately do not have control over the information sent to others. It should also be a wake-up call for everyone who cares about the First Amendment. More…

How To Liberate America from Wall Street Rule

[Economic]
How To Liberate America from Wall Street Rule
A Report from the New Economy Working Group
Posted June 10, 2018

Time to end Wall Street ruleIn 2008, Wall Street plunged the U.S. economy into the worst crisis since the Great Depression. Wall Street received a generous public bailout and quickly recovered. Main Street continues to languish. Politicians and pundits rarely inquire into the reasons for the disparity. Doing so would expose the reality that the United States is ruled as a plutocracy, not a democracy, and would focus citizen anger on the structure of the institutional system that gives Wall Street bankers their power.

The 2008 financial crash was a direct and inevitable consequence of a social engineering experiment conducted by Wall Street interests that allowed Wall Street financial institutions to consolidate their control of the creation and allocation of money beyond the reach of public accountability. The priority of the money system shifted from funding real investment for building community wealth to funding financial games designed solely to enrich Wall Street without the burden of producing anything of real value.

The proper function of money is to facilitate the sustainable and equitable utilization of resources to fulfill the needs of people, communities, and nature. This calls for a community-based and democratically accountable system of money, banking, and finance that functions to create and allocate money as a well-regulated public utility. Such a system would be remarkably similar to the one that financed the United States’ victory in World War II, produced an unprecedented period of economic stability and prosperity, made America the world’s industrial powerhouse, and created the American middle class. More…

This report provides real solutions to the many problems we face. It attacks the root cause, rather than focusing on the symptoms. After reading this report you will have a clear road map of what needs to be done in order to bring about real change in our system.

This is Why You Can’t Trust “Experts” and Lab Results at Trial

[Justice]
This is Why You Can’t Trust “Experts” and Lab Results at Trial
By The Daily Bell Staff
Posted June 9, 2018

lab results not necessarily reliableLast year, a Massachusetts court had to vacate 21,000 drug convictions due to one state lab employee.

First, Annie Dookhan lied about her qualifications in order to advance her carer as an expert witness. She was testifying at trials, getting people thrown in jail, without any actual expertise on topics on which she testified. Then, Dookhan committed fraud by falsely certifying that inert substances were illegal drugs. Then Dookhan was convicted in 2013, but the cases she worked on were not vacated until 2017.

She was paroled after three years and released from prison before the sentences of those she helped convict were vacated. That’s because, despite the clear wrongdoing, the state still fought against dismissing the cases tainted by Dookhan’s lies.

Carl Williams, staff attorney for the ACLU of Massachusetts, said his organization faced resistance and had to sue the district attorney’s office to bring about the thousands of dismissals. He stated in a phone interview that this, “the largest dismissal of criminal cases based on a single court filing in history,” is part of a systemic problem involving prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and jailers. More…

These 25+ Cynical Illustrations Will Make You See the World Differently

[Social]
These 25+ Cynical Illustrations Will Make You See the World Differently
by Amanda Froelich
Posted June 8, 2018

confessionFrom a young age, each and every one of us was taught how the world works — or, more accurately, how it should run, according to a handful of powerful individuals who control the majority of the world’s wealth. Not until we matured and were able to perceive the world as it is, did some of us realize that it is, in fact, incredibly flawed. The “system” we are a part of, regardless of geographical location, is as jumbled and imperfect as those who attempt to influence it.

political corruptionUnfortunately, the majority of the populace is blind to this reality. They live their lives baking on false security which has been sold to them in the form of college debt, a mortgage, and a 9-5 job they hate.

zooLife on this planet does not have to be so dismal. But, until the mass populace “wakes up,”  overcomes prejudice, and demands change, nothing will. This truth can be hard to stomach which is why sometimes, it is helpful to reflect on bitter truths that afford some humor. Artwork by Italian illustrator Marco Melgrati allows us to do just that. Melgrati’s illustrations are both layered with meaning and straightforward.. More…

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Great story on why we need to remove ALL of our elected government representatives

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